Tomiwa Ogunye is a senior and a finance major. He realized how his actions were affecting his life, and made the necessary changes to strive for success. This is his story.
“In high school, I was the typical high school kid. I was really immature. I was very childish. I played basketball. That was my whole life, and I could have sworn I was going to be in the NBA. Unfortunately, I’m not going to the NBA. I mean the dream is still alive, so who knows. I was not a very serious person, and I really did not know the importance of a lot of things. I would honestly just go through school and not really study. I come from a family of people who are really accomplished. My dad is a chemical engineer. He has an MBA. He has a Ph.D. in engineering. My mom has a Ph.D. in education. My sister is graduating from dental school. I come from a family of people who would do a lot of good things and I was not a serious person so they would always be hard on me, but I would never take them seriously. Like I said, I was very immature, and I just always thought that they were complaining. I didn’t really understand the importance of taking care of my schoolwork.
So senior year rolls around and that’s when reality hit. I realized that I was a senior, I’m definitely not going to the NBA for a fact, and my friends are applying to schools and getting in. Then I started looking at myself: I have a trash SAT score and I was in the fourth quartile of my graduating class. I applied to 10 schools, and they all denied me except for UTSA. After going through all of that, I started to understand that life is real, and I can’t continue to be a child my whole life. I could tell that my parents were disappointed. Even though they never said it, I could still sense it.
I remember I got accepted into UTSA and my parents said that I couldn’t go. They thought I would fail out. They told me that the only way they would let me go to UTSA is if I take three summer school classes and get all As in all of them. I understood that I had to change things around; I had to make a 180. So I took the three classes and made all A’s in all of them. My parents thought I was cheating my way through them. They don’t know. I swear they thought I was cheating, but I really just shifted my focus, I guess. So I got all A’s in them, and my parents let me come here. Then I just kept telling myself, ‘I won’t make the same mistakes I made in high school.’ Because I do understand that I’m trying to build a foundation for my career and my life. I had to be very serious, and I always kept that in the back of my mind. So I made sure I did the things that I needed to do to make sure that I could have opportunities and set my future family up to be comfortable. I just kind of had to shift focus.
I do understand that I’m not a boy anymore. I’m a man, so I have to be responsible and accountable for myself. That is the reason why I work hard to do things just because I know how far it can take you, and I know how detrimental not being a serious person can be.
So it’s really more that I owe myself and the other people who really invested a lot in me, and who think I can actually be something. I don’t want to let them down.”